Nigeria highlights plans to tackle unemployment

Lack of economic opportunities and unemployment have been identified as some of the most important root causes of irregular migration from Nigeria.

With a population of over 180 million people, Nigeria is the most populous African nation. However, Nigeria’s high level of unemployment, which peaked at 18.8 per cent in 2017, has left 18 million citizens unemployed.

The most recent report on Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics website, states that the figure had increased from 14.2 per cent in the previous year. Such high levels of unemployment and corresponding limited economic opportunities have contributed to irregular migration from Nigeria.

To this end, the Nigerian government says it is taking measures to tackle unemployment and create viable economic opportunities for the youth who make up over 60 per cent of Nigeria’s population.

During a recent town hall meeting with youth organisations, traders and other stakeholders in Benin, Edo State, Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stated that the federal government is committed to supporting small businesses and developing the economy through funding and expert advice from its agencies. Edo State has become notorious as the main state of origin for irregular migrants leaving Nigeria for Europe.

The Daily Post reports that Vice President Osinbajo stated that the government’s social investment programme was important to President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that 200,000 beneficiaries had been recorded and that the number would be increased to 300,000 by the end of June.

“The important thing for us, as a government, is to make sure that we deal with the unemployment problem. We will deal with it in two ways. One, by direct employment; that is what we are doing through the N-Power programme,” Osinbajo stated.

The Vice President went on to discuss a proposal which would grant credit to small businesses and merchants, “We will also deal with it by giving credit to people who want to work, whether it is the market women, the artisans, the N-Build, N-Teach and all that.”

“Apart from that, we will also give credit to the very lowest traders, those who are hawking, those who are selling little things all over the country because all of these people are hard-working Nigerians. And we want to make sure that every Nigerian who is prepared to work we will give them an opportunity to work,” he said during the town hall meeting in Benin.


TMP – 11/07/2018


Photo credit: Photo caption: Nigerians protesting against unemployment